The NSW Swifts have drawn 77-all with GIANTS Netball in a thrilling New South Wales derby in Brisbane’s Nissan Arena.
Caitlin Bassett was late scratching from the GIANTS’ final-round due to a knee injury suffered in training and Swifts shooter Helen Housby was also ruled from the game at the last minute, deemed medically unfit.
The GIANTS went within a whisker of an upset despite trailing by as many as 10 during a frantic last quarter.
Swifts spearhead Sam Wallace was brilliant in the shooting circle with 50 goals including six from Suncorp Super Shot range.
She was almost upstaged by GIANT Jo Harten, who nailed six Suncorp Super Shots in the last quarter alone to haul her team level.
Harten finished with 34 goals at 87% accuracy while teammate Amy Parmenter overcame her disappointment at being overlooked for the Origin Diamonds squad with a Nissan Player of the Match performance.
The result means the Swifts will play in next week’s minor semi-final, with coach Briony Akle and captain Maddy Proud insisting the side has regained its upbeat vibe.
“Obviously today wasn’t the result we were after but if you look at the last two or three weeks, every game we’ve been building,” Proud said.
The GIANTS have missed the finals for the second straight season but should be satisfied with the improvement shown by Austin and young midcourters Maddie Hay and Parmenter.
Harten was the player the team looked to when it was tight and she did not disappoint.
“When everything’s on the line and you want to get your team back in it you want to be the one to put your hand up, which is what I did today,” Harten said.
The Swifts have endured some wobbles in recent weeks and they again started slowly against the determined GIANTS.
They trailed throughout the first half and only wrestled back control of the contest thanks to a 23-goal third quarter.
Defenders Maddy Turner and Sarah Klau pocketed five third-term gains between them to help establish an eight-goal lead at three-quarter time, before giving it up to the GIANTS in the dying minutes of the match.
Q1: Swifts 22 v GIANTS 24
Q2: Swifts 17 v GIANTS 17
Q3: Swifts 23 v GIANTS 13
Q4: Swifts 15 v GIANTS 23
Nissan Player of The Match – Amy Parmenter (GIANTS Netball)
Swifts shooting statistics
Sam Wallace: Total points 56 – G1 44/47 (94%) G2 6/9 (66%)
Sophie Garbin: Total points 21 – G1 15/16 (94%) G2 3/5 (60%)
GIANTS shooting statistics
Jo Harten: Total points – 44 G1 24/26 (92%) G2 10/13 (77%)
Kiera Austin: Total points – 33 G1 19/23 (83%) G2 7/10 (70%)
Swifts starting seven: GS – Sam Wallace GA – Sophie Garbin WA – Nat Haythornthwaite C – Paige Hadley WD – Sophie Craig GD – Maddy Turner GK – Sarah Klau
GIANTS starting seven: GS – Jo Harten GA – Kiera Austin WA – Maddie Hay C – Jamie-Lee Price WD – Amy Parmenter GD – Kristiana Manu’a GK – Sam Poolman